The Great Indian Finance Festival or GIFF 2017 is an online initiative by Capital Float to offer working capital loans to MSMEs across different sectors in the country. GIFF aspires to reach out to over 10 million SMEs by offering lucrative offers on working capital finance, in a bid to bridge the credit gap that small businesses continue to be challenged by. Over the next three months, starting July 1, 2017, GIFF kicks off a one-of-its-kind loan festival that will provide Indian SMEs with the working capital support they need to diversify and scale up their businesses.
|Working Capital Loans
|Up to Rs. 10,000 PayTM gold for every loan on offer||Three Long Months
Jul 1 – Sep 30, 2017
|Interest as low as
At GIFF 2017, you can get access to quickly disbursed, flexible, short-term loans that are typically used for the purchase of inventory, servicing new orders or optimising cash cycles. You can apply online in minutes, select desired repayment terms and receive funds in your bank account in as little as 3 days.
Products & Features:
During GIFF 2017, we will be providing three of our loan products at interest rates starting 16%:
|Merchant Cash Advance||Term Loan||Online Seller Finance|
|Loan against card swipes and receivables – ideal for merchants with consistent card settlements||Unsecured business loan – ideal for SMEs with positive monthly cash flow||Online Sellers – ideal for those looking to expand their marketplace presence and sales|
|Credit: Rs 1 lakh – Rs 1 crore||Credit: Rs 1 lakh – Rs 50 lakh||Credit: Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore|
|6 months – 1 year||6 months – 3 years||Flexible payment options|
|Know more||Know more||Know more|
In addition to the three-month long festival, watch out for short ‘Flash Sales’ throughout GIFF 2017. A flash sale lasts for three days, and you can earn up to 10,000 in PayTM gold!. Each product will feature a flash sale of its own, so be sure to visit the GIFF website regularly!
The entire process at GIFF 2017 is online. You need to fill up an online application and submit all the relevant documentation. If you meet the eligibility criteria and your paperwork is correct, your application can be approved within a few hours. The best part is that the loan amount will be credited to the bank account within 72 hours of approval.
GIFF 2017 Application Process
The first step is to fill up basic details about yourself and the company such as the registered name of your enterprise, years of operation, type of company (private limited/partnership/proprietorship/unlisted), company turnover and loan amount required in the online application form. Next, upload relevant documents on the website. These documents or paperwork are necessary to demonstrate your creditworthiness and ability to repay.
Capital Float leverages technology such as big data analytics and proprietary algorithms to make quick lending decisions based on the verifiable data you have provided. Over the years, the technology and intelligence we deployed have ensured better decision-making and quick disbursal of loans.
GIFF 2017 and the festive season
A recent Nielsen’s global consumer confidence index report showed that India’s consumer confidence score rose to the highest it’s ever been in the last 10 years. This swing in consumer sentiment even made Nielsen proclaim India as ‘a nation of determined optimists’. So, as we head into a period of positive consumer sentiment and with many major festivals coming up, the timing seems perfect for SMEs to think big.
Even though we Indians have festivals all round the year, consumer spending spikes from July to December. Traditionally, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali and Christmas have been occasions for large spending by the Indian consumer. In 2016, Indian consumers spent an estimated amount of Rs 12,000 crore ($1.8 billion) online during Diwali alone. The festive season is also when the marketers spend almost 40% of their annual budget in attracting customers and boosting sales by 20% – 25%.
Timing is everything:
Cashing in on an opportunity at the right time is critical for SMEs to prosper. The upcoming festive season and a high consumer confidence score is a lucrative opportunity that smart SMEs will want to leverage for growth and expansion. Over the next few months, we will be providing our impactful working capital finance products at discounted interest rates with our esteemed promise of 3-day disbursal. Tap into this opportunity and propel your enterprise towards a busy season ahead, equipped with all that you need to succeed and #BreakLimits.
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Let us consider the following hypothetical scenario:
ABC & Co., a small services firm, began operations in mid-2011. It reported a 40% jump in annual turnover from Rs. 5 Cr in FY 2012 to Rs. 7 Cr in FY 2013. As a startup, the company has not yet broken even and reported losses for consecutive years. The promoter is well educated, previously worked in organizations of repute for over a decade before deciding to float this venture. The short-term finance requirement of ABC & Co is about Rs. 40 lac for 90 days, but does not have any physical collateral to offer as security. At this stage, the promoter of ABC & Co. decides to approach banks and NBFCs in the market to fund this debt gap.
What would this promoter’s experience be in today’s scenario? Would he be successful in securing the necessary funds?
According to a recent statistic, 33% of companies operating in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector have access to banks and financial institutions, while the rest remain excluded and are compelled to raise money through informal channels.
This debt gap is alarming especially in the backdrop of the fact that SME segment contributes nearly 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 45% of all industrial output.
Till date, banks and NBFCs have not been able to finance this debt gap effectively. What has prevented or restricted them from profitably penetrating this sector? Is it due to inherent credit risk in the segment, lack of collateral, government regulation and laws, or simply because there are greener pastures elsewhere to lend money?
Lets us understand the debt requirement of the SME segment (both early-stage as well as mature entities) before we try to further dissect this issue. In our example, ABC & Co. could require financing for primarily two reasons:
1) Capex, i.e. medium to long-term finance for business expansion, product diversification, renovation of business premises, or purchase of machinery.
2) Working Capital i.e. to cover short-term immediate cash flow needs arising from day-to-day business operations.
To cater to this demand, banks and financial institutions already have specific products (both fund and non-fund based) that can be broadly categorized into two categories for the sake of simplicity:
1) Simple lending products, which would typically cater to the first requirement of SMEs for Capex. These are medium to long-term financing products in the form of equipment and machinery loans, high yield unsecured business loans, Loan against Property etc.
2) Specialised lending products, which typically include factoring, trade finance, cash management services, project finance, bank guarantee, or letters of credit, which typically cater to the second requirement of working capital finance.
As is evident from the above, it is not the lack of “products” that explains the under-penetration of finance flowing to the SME sector. Rather, it is in the design, applicability and administration of these products to the SME sector that banks have fallen short.
In an effort to go deeper, we can identify four key reasons among others, for this shortfall:
1) Sole Focus on Financials: The current approach to SME lending in most institutions is still heavily dependent on business financials- i.e. looking at historical data to predict future creditworthiness. Typically this involves a lot of paper work and many visits to the applicant.
This approach has not been very successful in the SME sector to-date due to the fact that the financials provided by the applicant are often opaque given the cash nature of business transactions and incentives to under report income to save on taxes. ABC & Co., on this parameter alone (aside from business vintage) would be filtered out as the current financial position reflecting business losses would not be very appealing to most financiers.
2) Bureau Reporting: There are two kinds of credit bureau reports that can be generated by member banks and NBFCs – Individual and Corporate. While individual records are provided by most bureaus, only CIBIL currently provides reports for corporate entities in India. Valid records for SME entities are still not very evolved in the country. And while the bureaus can provide data on credit worthiness of the individuals involved in any given company, they cannot give relevant insights about an applicant who is a first time borrower.
Since ABC & Co. is newly established, there would not be any bureau record on the company. The application would then have to be judged on the strength of the individual records for the promoter as well as the business viability of ABC & Co.
3) Selective Segmentation: The implication of the above two factors is that only the “upper layer” of the medium to large enterprise segment is able to pass through banks’ and NBFCs’ credit assessment parameters, leaving aside the major chunk of “small” entrepreneurs and entities whose need for adequate finance is more pronounced. These small entities could be major links in the supply chains of large players, and their inability to access finance could have the ripple effects across the value chain.
4) Lack of Collateral Security: Lending in India traditionally has relied on taking adequate collateral as a “risk mitigant” to cover the credit risks associated with SME lending and the ambiguity around appraising this segment. The Loan to Value ratio (LTV) becomes the yardstick to segregate and approve or reject cases based on risk. This ratio is inversely proportional to the risk perception of the applicant.
Since ABC & Co. does not have any physical collateral such as property or machinery to offer and the promoter has pitched in whatever money he had in the form of initial capital into the business, his application would be rejected by most banks and NBFCs in the market today.
This problem of access to finance for SMEs in India is even more accentuated for early-stage companies or startups such as ABC & Co. In their case, past financial performance would be not a correct indicator of the future potential of the enterprise. After initial round of equity funding from family and friends or seed investors, working capital requirements or ad-hoc needs for short term finance would inevitably kick in and must be dealt with in a timely manner to keep the firm operational.
To conclude, traditional lending to the SME sector in India can best be described as a “One Size Fits All Approach.” The risk management techniques used by banks and other financial institutions today are invariably more suitable for medium and large corporate entities. The same set of rules when inadvertently applied to small and early-stage enterprises result in a faulty output, i.e. the systemic rejection of most SME loan applications like ABC & Co. Given the intense nature of competition in the lending industry today, the consequence is that too many banks and financial institutions end up chasing the same set of “good” customers, leaving aside a much larger untapped segment of SMEs in the process.
Watch this space for more articles on the subject as well as suggested ways to underwrite “small” and
“early-stage” entities in the SME sector.
(Image credit: http://blog.directcapital.com/misc/small-business-loan-video/)
Oct 24, 2018
The start of a brand new financial year is filled with several emotions for SME owners, ranging from relief after the intense pressure of March, anticipations and excitement for the year ahead. Amidst these, business owners often don’t find the opportunity to celebrate the year that has gone by and the new financial year up ahead.
The new financial year is the only occasion that is of sole significance to an SME, whereas every other event, festival or celebration involves friends and family. It is that time when the SME can celebrate with their team the previous fiscal year that was full of learnings, experiences, peaks and troughs. The beginning of a financial year also presents a unique prospect to start over; SMEs can renew their enthusiasm and vigor as they make new business decisions.
Indeed, celebrating the new financial year can become an ongoing ritual for SMEs as it also helps establish a stronger workforce with a refined drive towards the company’s vision. To gain an advantageous start, here are some practices to ease you into the new fiscal year, so that you can look forward to bigger success celebrations at the end of it.
1. Set financial goals
Whether your financial goals are numerical or tangible, they should be defined in a manner that lets you evaluate if they can be achieved or not. These can be long-term, such as profitability, margins, sustained cash flows, etc. that may not be accomplished over the span of the financial year ahead or specific goals that are short-term.
For example, a retail store that has rented a space might learn that the building owner plans to sell the building eventually, and intends to acquire the space for further expansion. For a smooth sale without depleting the working capital, the retailer should have a clear sense of the cost of down payment, mortgage and additional costs. Based on this, they can create a strict budget for the year and stick to it. Another option is to avail collateral-free finance options such as Term Finance or Merchant Cash Advance that offers flexible modes for repayment.
2. Evaluate the scope of debts
The beginning of the year is the best time to assess the debts that you might have accumulated over the past years. Start by weighing each of your existing loans based on its cost, interest rate and other subsidiary factors such as prepayment penalty. Always ensure that the loan with the highest ticket size is repaid first.
Business finance is not often a liability-encountering measure, but also an instrument for growth, expansion and diversification of your business. If you have a promising business opportunity at hand and are reluctant to accept it due to a shortage of funds, this is when you should consider availing business finance. To determine the customized credit solution that best suits your business, check out Our Products.
3. Improve book-keeping
Unorganized compilation of financial records is the most recurrent theme for SMEs who let go of trickling financial losses, only to discover a gaping hole in its wake. Unexpected, unrecorded cash expenses often eat their way into the profitability of a business, resulting in a long-lasting impact that might take several years to recover from.
It is integral to maintain records of operational and financial performance, and the method you adopt to maintain these play a major role in determining the accuracy of the data. If you have been managing business accounts on your own, it is advised that you hire an experienced tax accountant or opt for an enhanced accounting software this fiscal year. This will keep you free to focus on other tasks, with the assurance that you one step closer to higher profits.
4. Plan for new partnerships
Large corporations can perform the role of different stakeholders to an SME; they can assume roles as business partners, product distributors or customers. Contrary to conventional belief, small businesses have much to gain by associating with bigger businesses that operate differently from the way the SMEs function. This ensures that the partnership remains fruitful for both the entities involved, and avoids situations where they find themselves competing with each other If you feel that your enterprise will benefit from such a collaboration to supplement time, logistical organization and resources, this new financial year is when you can make that move.
5. Identify a new customer base
For any SME, extending the outreach of your brand to a wide demography of consumers is instrumental to evolve into a larger organisation. If you envision a steady rate of growth, what best time to target a brand new audience than the start of the financial year? You can also think of ways to improvise your product or service for a high-potential customer segment that is less exposed to competition. At the end of the day, this is an exercise that promotes out-of-the-box thinking.
A sound financial budget prepared with the above points in mind ensures that you are better prepared to face the new fiscal year. Also, it gives you an edge over your competitors on several fronts, and getting a business finance partner for your needs becomes much simpler when you are armed with a well-calculated plan.
Capital Float exists to serve the unique business aspirations of ambitious SMEs like you. With a growing base of 80,000 customers in over 300 cities across India, we provide customized credit solutions for the diverse needs that you might have. Paperless loan application, minimal documentation requirement and quick processing ensure that you receive funds when you need it. Choose from our new, innovative financial solutions for FY 18-19 and get ready to #BreakLimits!
Oct 24, 2018
There are several tools in the market that people could use to communicate, such as Email, Skype, Whatsapp, Messenger, HipChat, Slack, etc. How do you pick the right communication tool for your organization? And does it even matter which one you choose? One tool which is considered as the latest and greatest among tech startups is Slack: a chat tool designed for companies. We decided to give Slack a shot, and started using it late last year at Capital Float.
There isn’t one clear solution to choosing a chat engine for office communication, but we recommend companies give their communication channels some serious thought. Slack has features which make it distinctive from other popular tools like Skype and Whatsapp – we won’t go into that here, but do read up for more context. We’ve definitely witnessed a positive impact from using Slack.
Here are a few things a great chat tool like Slack can help you do:
1) Get things done faster
Chat enables real-time communication, and hence collaboration. Discussions can happen in real-time, rather than asynchronously over email threads. Scheduling meeting times becomes much simpler. Email communication reduces, freeing up productive time. Slack fits better into workflows: the mobile app enables people to respond on the go and great keyboard shortcuts on desktop app enable rapid usage. This leads to quicker action being taken resulting in faster decision-making.
2) Organize your information
Conversations on Slack become an archive of internal information. You can create a different “channel” for each group or topical discussion. Channels help keep discussions focused. Slack’s search feature makes it easy to find data across the medium, either by channel or by person. Files shared are compiled into a list. You can ‘star’ things for later and you can pin messages in conversations.
3) Enable people to focus on the right things at the right time
Having a separate company chat tool enables people to keep work and personal communication separate. Work related messages won’t get lost, and people will be less tempted to start replying to personal communication. On the flip side, people can choose when it’s important to tune in or out. Notifications can be customized by channel on Slack and also by time of day. People can schedule notifications to turn off in the evenings, but be notified on an urgent basis if needed. Essentially, people can focus on what they’re doing while at work, but also be engaged and plugged-in when they are with family and friends.
4) Have more control over user access
It is important to keep control of who can access company data – even conversations. You can create private channels which limited users can see, and also control what specific users can access (e.g. a consultant could be made a restricted user). With Slack, you can enable Google App login or other single sign-on (SSO) mechanisms, which has a couple of benefits. Firstly, people can add themselves without creating new accounts, and no one has to ‘add’ contacts. Secondly, it ensures your chat user list is synced to your user management. When someone leaves your company you just have to remove them in one place to ensure they no longer have access to company info.
5) Innovate, connect dots in your business, and have fun
Being a cutting-edge tech company, Slack constantly innovates and also enables innovation. Slack has integrated with many applications, enabling you to play around with a myriad of other tools your business may use. Do you use Zendesk? You could create a channel which gets notifications when a ticket is created. How about Google Hangouts? You could spin up a new Hangout link for a channel. Slack also provides API access which can allow you to create workflows even with your internal systems. Slack’s funky interface and other cool in-built features can prove useful (e.g. a bot that can remind you of stuff) or simply give you inspiration.
While we’re excited about Slack, we realize it isn’t a perfect solution. A few things to keep in mind: Slack may not quite work as well for companies with primarily external-facing communication, since it’s built for intra company conversations. Even if Slack does work for your organization, there are still kinks in the machinery with pertinent features missing from the module. Video/ voice calling can be initiated from Slack (e.g. you can create links for Google Hangouts), but this feature isn’t built into the system. And while Slack has a high uptime and reliable message delivery, for companies in India, Slack isn’t quite optimized for our existing infrastructure. When used over a flaky network, Slack can perform inconsistently while Whatsapp functions adequately.
If you do decide to go down the path of trying something like Slack out for your company (which you should!), be prepared to work initially on getting people to use it. Here are a few tactical ideas to help you get your colleagues on board: have a few champions for the product. Go for grassroots growth, not taking a top-down approach. Create shameless plugs via email with simple instructions. Create channels which people really need to be a part of, otherwise they’re missing out. Be patient, and be positive! You’ll soon see desired results!
Sakshi leads the investor facing product at Capital Float. Before that, she did product at KPCB backed Turo, a p2p car rental marketplace in SF. Her experience is in a mix of tech, design thinking, and strategy. She enjoys building delightful solutions to problems in traditional industries. At Stanford, she built her core foundation in CS, design, and economics. Beyond building products, she tries to sing and simultaneously play the piano, runs in Cubbon Park, and rolls out fresh pasta.
Sakshi is the Senior Product Manager at Capital Float.
Oct 24, 2018